“If you had told me three years ago I’d end up with nine A* – C grades, being head girl of over 800 students and doing speeches in front of hundreds of people, I would have laughed. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
Name: Ella Desmond
Joined LVS Ascot: September 2013
Year at school: Alumni member (left in 2018)
Studying: Nursing at Leeds University
At her previous school, Ella was predicted a best-case scenario of Cs in maths and English and Ds and Es in her other GCSE subjects. The move to LVS Ascot resulted in nine A* to C grades, including an A in English. She applied for, and was awarded, a Sixth Form scholarship and Ella has now completed her A levels of history, English and government & politics and gone to university to study nursing.
Ella joined LVS Ascot at the start of Year 9, keen to be at a school with smaller class sizes – around 18 instead of the 35 she was used to. At her previous school she was, by her own admission, “coasting” in middle and bottom sets, and in Year 8 was predicted very low grades for GCSEs. She came home after receiving that news and told her parents that she wouldn’t be able to achieve what she wanted – a career in medicine or law – if she stayed where she was.
Looking for a new school, Ella’s family found LVS Ascot so she could gain more personal attention and teaching to help her flourish. The open morning at the school was the first Ella had been to, and she loved it straight away, saying she was definitely going there. After beginning at the school, her lack of confidence and drive was transformed and she saw improvement academically, also developing a close-knit group of supportive friends.
She tried a range of sports she had not been interested in or played before, and represented the first team at both hockey and netball for several years.
Ella’s brother Ben also now attends LVS Ascot, mainly because of how much she loves it.
“Ella had been written off at her old school but LVS Ascot has given her so much confidence to achieve. The teachers have been fantastic and so have her peers. I am really proud of her”
– Kate Desmond, Ella’s mum
What the future holds:
Ella received offers from all of the universities she applied to, including three Russell Group universities. Her A-level results meant she gained a place at her first choice university of Leeds to study nursing, with a view to following a career in that sector.
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